One of the things my dad has said my whole life is, “Do as I say. Don’t do as I do!” He’s always said it jokingly, but now that I’m a parent, I get it. My son mimics everything my wife and I say or do, especially the things I wish he wouldn’t. It’s hard to discipline him when he says, “But you just said that.” As a parent, I wish he’d follow my instructions instead of my example a lot of times. Parenting would be a lot easier!
We’ve heard it said our whole lives, “Actions speak louder than words.” We can say things all we want, but if our actions don’t back it up, people won’t believe what we say. I’m sure right now you are thinking of people in your own life who are guilty of this. When our actions don’t back up what we say, we lose credibility. When we lose credibility, we don’t have a leg to stand on. That’s why Paul was adamant in his letters to Timothy and Titus to be good examples.
In Titus 2:7, Paul wrote, “In all things you yourself must be an example of good behavior” (GNT). He wasn’t talking about being a parent though. He was talking about our Christian life. The world has too many “Christians” who profess Jesus with their mouth, but deny Him by their life. How can we win the lost if our lifestyle is no different than the world’s? When we accept Chris, we become a new creation. Our old way of living is gone.
Paul writes over and over about how we should live as believers. What He’s telling us is that our life should be an example of what Jesus can do. He can take all of our brokenness and mess ups and make us new. It’s not saying we won’t fail or sin again. That’s going to happen because we’re all human. When we are being led by His Spirit rather than our flesh, we become the examples that the world needs to see. We won’t have to tell them, “Do as I say, not as I do.”